Through its role as a conduit for donations, loans and investment, crowdfunding is poised to play a significant role in financing SMEs. Equity crowdfunding, in particular, offers significant potential to open up a new funding source for entrepreneurs, and a new avenue for investment for investors. In so doing, this nascent platform will help facilitate job creation and innovation by helping to ensure that good ideas don’t die on the kitchen tables of would-be entrepreneurs. As this report argues, however, jurisdictions seeking to capitalize on this new avenue must develop balanced regulatory frameworks that protect investors without stifling the elements of long-tail participation and engagement that make this medium a potential game-changer.
Small-and-medium-sized-enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the Canadian economy. Indeed, it is a well-known and often cited fact that Canada’s economic landscape is predominantly populated by companies with fewer than 100 employees. More often than not, this small size is portrayed as a positive characteristic because these companies are seen as being more agile and more adept at maneuvering the whims of rapidly changing market. Nonetheless, the plethora of small companies also holds certain challenges and masks the fact that many enterprises that would like to grow, face serious hurdles. This report identifies main the obstacles to SME growth and provides recommendations for what policy makers can do now to amplify and accelerate the economic potential of the small business sector.